As you prepare your baby for life in a college dorm, it seems like there are thousands of things that he or she absolutely needs. While this may be true, it is also important that you remember organizational essentials as well – dorm rooms are tiny, and your son or daughter will need everything they can find to add some much needed space.
1. Storage bins. Choose a variety of sizes, and make sure to include some that will fit under the bed to maximize space. Do not forget to include bathroom caddies and makeup containers as well – these are especially important for kids who are staying in residence halls. They will be able to keep track of their toiletries and other items, and it provides a convenient way of carrying everything to and from the shower. Just make sure that the shower caddies you choose have plenty of drainage holes to prevent mold and mildew.
2. Bed risers. These nifty little gadgets will raise the height of your student’s bed, allowing them to free up additional space for storage. Then, you can buy a few totes and bins that are designed to fit under the bed, yet still be convenient to get needed items quickly and easily.
3. Multi-functional trunks. Trunks are a great way to maximize space, hide some of the clutter in the dorm room, and provide additional seating for when dorm friends want to hang out. There are numerous kinds available, including collapsible trunks that make it much easier to store and transport when it is not being used.
College dorms are notoriously tiny, so your child needs to have the best means of keeping all of their essentials organized and clutter free. These storage ideas will allow for maximization of all available space.
When it comes time to get ready for high school, there is one area that demands organization – your locker. This is such a tiny space, but it essentially becomes your home away from home while you are in school. If you want to make sure you can find the things you need in those ridiculously short passing periods,organization is key. The following are the top things you need to keep your high school locker neat and organized.
1. Add storage shelves. Lockers provide plenty of vertical space, but typically only have one or two shelves to break everything up. Buy several plastic locker shelves that provide additional space for your stuff on top, and a handy place to store those important papers you know you will need soon.
2. Magnetic bins and hooks. Metal lockers are actually a great thing – they allow you to use magnets to provide even more high school organization. Purchase small magnetic containers to hold pens, pencils, paper clips, and other tiny necessities that tend to get lost at the bottom of your locker. Make sure to choose containers with strong magnets so you can use them on the door to maximize every available inch.
3. Dry erase board. A small dry erase board will fit into your locker, and help you keep track of important dates for assignments and tests. You can also use it to make sure you remember certain books for assignments that are due the next day.
4. Binders. Choose a different binder for each class, and actually use it. If you color code the binders, you will always know exactly which binder you need for class and homework.
High school can be overwhelming, but these organizing tips will help make something in your life easy to find and use.
Guest Blogger: Darla DeMorrow, Certified Professional Organizer ®.
There are all sorts of reasons you might need to get organized. One of the most common is going through piles, stacks, and bins of extra personal and household product that you have “just in case”. These backups usually don’t have emotional meaning for us. They are extras that we’ve gotten so that we won’t be without a particular type of product.
In theory, it makes sense. We usually stock up for three reasons:
1. We got a good deal on it. There was a coupon or a sale, and how could we pass it up? Some people specialize in extreme couponing, but most of us don’t.
2. We feel like it’s a critical product that we can’t live without, and there is no amount of this product that could ever be “too much”. That’s toilet paper for me.
3. We can never seem to find it when we need it, and so we ALWAYS buy extra when we’re in the store, no matter what.
We buy and store all sorts of backups like:
clothes (for sizes we were or will be)
detergent and cleaning supplies)
paper and office supplies
personal supplies, like shampoo
This stockpiling of backups, however, doesn’t actually make a lot of sense most of the time, and can actually cause more problems than the calamities that we are trying to avoid.
None of us are in danger of running out of anything critical, with the possible exceptions of medications. Really, most of us can get to a major shopping center within a few minutes. Most of us are stockpiling with no clear plan for why we are doing it. Unlike”preppers” (someone who plans for end-of-the-world doomsday scenarios) who have clear plans for what they need, how long it would last them in dire situations, that’s not what most of us are doing when we stock up.
I often play a little game with myself and my shampoo. When the bottle is 3/4 empty, I start making mental plans to replace it. But in reality, that quarter of the bottle might last me another month or so. I might get to Target six times before I actually run out. And when it does run out, I spend I couple of days using up my trial sizes before I’ll finally go buy new. See? The disaster never really happens.
There are many benefits of not keeping lots of backups for readily available items:
Spending less money throughout the year
Opening up storage space in your home
Having the option to try new products as they come out on the market, instead of waiting until you use up your stockpile
Having less waste, as product won’t expire, rust, or fall apart. Even things that seem shelf stable, like laundry detergent, has a shelf life.
Virtually eliminating the risk that an older product will make you sick or harm you. Older products can breed bacteria, which can lead to infection. This is certainly true of makeup and personal care products as well, especially if they are partially used. Here’s a good list of 77 surprising expiration dates.
So the next time you are tempted to pick up another item at the store “just in case”, play along with me and think about your backup plan. It might surprise you how long you can go without adding to your stockpile, and how much money you can save in the bargain.